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Cover image for How to earn more as a Freelancer

How to earn more as a Freelancer

ntare_guy profile image Guy Ntare ・4 min read

Simply double your hourly rate.

...wrong


Many developers are quick to say $'x' for a 'y'-page website based on what is the "going rate." There is a better approach.

I used to think that a website costs as much as i am willing to accept and as the client is willing. it needs to be cheaper than everyone else for the client to go ahead with it or so i thought.

There are 3 main pricing options

  • Fixed price
  • Billing by the hour
  • Value based

Billing by the Hour

Your income is capped. Let’s say you’re currently earning $25/hr and you’d like to double your income so you can go on vacation more, invest, etc.

Do you just double your hourly rate?

No.
Clients won’t just accept that you’re now “double” the worth -

why?

Charging by the hour is actually harmful to you & the client.
Most clients ask for an estimate on how long the project will take and they budget accordingly. If you tell them it should take 10 hrs and you bill them for 20, that doesn’t look good and the business won’t be happy.

Charging by the hour discourages efficiency and innovation.
Hourly billing encourages you to not work smart and to drag the hours so you get paid more.(although unethical, just look at it objectively) Some websites can be created in a day or two.

If you are charging by the hour, why would you rush to get this website done as soon as possible when you could delay it by an extra few days & get paid more for it? Or maybe there’s a code snippet/plugin you can buy for $100 that can save you 3 days of coding time, but you are hesitant to do this because that means you lose out on getting paid more and you have bills to pay. Not to mention the administration and arguments with clients to verify you actually worked for the hours they paid you for.

Charging a fixed price

This is pretty simple. You estimate how long the project will take and how much you want to earn. Let’s say it will take you one month. So whatever you want to earn, say $6k, you charge that for the project. Although not the best solution, I do find this better than billing by the hour. But is there a better approach?

Yes!

Value-based pricing

Let’s first start with what is a website?

  • An off the shelf commodity.
  • An effective marketing channel that can increase sales for a business.

This is crucial to understand. What you are selling is something that can potentially increase sales Chart with upwards trend.

Let’s say you made improvements to an existing website, You charged $2,000, They generated an extra $200,000 in revenue that year from your improvements. In my view, you undercharged for the project. Have you ever wondered what the differences are between a $1,000 website and a $10,000 website? Or a $3,000 website and a $7,000 website?

Answer:
it’s often very similar or close to the same thing.
The only difference is how much they charged for it and WHY.

The goal of value-based pricing is that you’re not selling HOURS.You’re selling potential RESULTS.

Here’s how to do it:
Find out the potential increase in sales value of the project to the client over a year, Then base your price off of this potential return. A rough guideline would be 5-8% of the annual sales increase.

Suppose that a business sells agricultural drone via their website. They ask you to create an improved website focused on generating more sales.

Your 2 main questions should be:

  • How many sales do you currently get each month?
  • What is your average selling price for a drone ?

suppose they make:

  • 10 sales per month
  • $1,500 each

Therefore, they make each month ($1,500 x 10 = $15,000).

let’s say you are confident your improvements will generate 2 sales extra per month, this means the business would make an additional $3,000 per month and almost $36,000 after one year, You then prepare your proposal with this mentioned inside.

your price could be $2,000 - $5,000, Would you, ‘as the business owner’ be willing to pay around 5% of what you could potentially make after one year? Of course.You won't close EVERY client like this but you will get the RIGHT clients.

Receiving payment

ALWAYS get 100% payment upfront It reduces conflict or disagreement. The main issue for freelancers is Not getting paid on time, They do the work, the client is either not happy or the project is never “done” so the final payment gets delayed or not paid. Just explain that it’s company policy (this works quite often), If it’s a deal-breaker, then get 50% up-front and decide on the 2nd 50% payment decide on a date for this 2nd payment as a project being “done” is relative to both you and the client.


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ntare_guy profile

Guy Ntare

@ntare_guy

Self-taught Data analyst and Front-end developer, experienced in leveraging agile frameworks to provide a robust synopsis for high level overviews and Iterative approaches to corporate.

Discussion

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There's a guy on YouTube called Fox Web School who also hammers home this philosophy. I have personally found that it absolutely works and more freelancers should adopt this approach. Thanks for sharing Guy!

 

Thanks Luke for suggesting this channel

 

This is a revolutionary approach that can help both businesses and developers to grow.
Pleasure is all mine Luke!

 

Good 👍 Article.
I don't do freelancing but code on front-end as well as on back-end and nowadays digging more of MongoDB.
As suggested value-based approach is effective than others, so if a code crashes during that year then how to handle that?
As the client is giving you some % of the profit then how one should charge?

 

Thanks for sharing these valuable information.
Excuse me, I'm new front end developer can you explain to me how a developer can increase a website sales ?!
I'd be grateful for that 😃

 

First of all welcome to the club(FRONT END DEVELOPERS)🎉. and thanks for the idea stay tuned, I'm a writing a whole post for you on "How to increase a website sales!".

Pleasure is all mine Gad

 

Great 🤩
Thank you very much

 

Thanks so much for these tips! I usually charge a flat fee up front based on a certain number of hours and revisions. After that I start charging by the hour or request.

 

That's not bad(charging a flat fee) but it's not consistent, as i said don't sell HOURS , sell potential RESULTS. Trust me Sarah you'll grow irrevocably.

Thank you Sarah, pleasure is all mine